By Henry Neondo

An unprecedented international gathering in Cameroon began Monday to present new findings in malaria research and call for urgent action to subdue Africa’s most devastating killer.

As malaria deaths remain at alarming levels in Africa - with a child succumbing every 30 seconds and the devastating disease a root cause of the continent's pervasive poverty - an unprecedented gathering will convene in Africa to highlight new findings emerging from the work of Western and African malaria researchers.

Starting November 13, 2005, 1,500 scientists, policymakers, African ministers, health care workers, community members, and other experts on the diseases gathered in Yaoundé, Cameroon, for the Fourth MIM Pan-African Malaria Conference November 13 - 18 and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership's Forum V Global Partners Meeting November 18 - 19.

The conferences will collectively highlight an Africa-wide effort to empower communities, battle complacency and eliminate the many barriers that are keeping effective prevention and treatment from reaching the most vulnerable.

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership plans to report on a coordinated plan to reduce malaria deaths in Africa and worldwide.

According to government representatives present, "this assembly offers a unique opportunity to find in one venue the world's leading experts on all aspects of malaria from prevention to control and from basic research to program implementation, as they tackle pressing scientific, social and economic issues confronting efforts to subdue the disease".

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